While Western democracies have, for the most part, supported Israel without the obligate two-sided balance statements, several countries have taken the opportunity to become Israel’s enemies.
In the West, large protests have been ongoing in major cities and college campuses. While the left and its fellow traveling Islamists fetishize the murder and decapitation of babies, officially, host countries such as the US, UK, Germany, and France have made their support of Israel public and relatively clear.
While the West is sympathetic to the brutality Israel has faced and the challenges of chasing down an enemy that hides behind women and children and under hospitals, several dictatorships have thrown their lot squarely with Hamas.
*Turkey. Israel’s relationship with Turkey has been off and on since Recep Erdogan took over. Before him, the two countries enjoyed business, tourist, and military ties. I remember years ago, Israel had the contract to upgrade Turkey’s F-4 fighters, while many Israeli companies did their manufacturing in Turkey. Turkey has been consistently one of the top travel destinations for Israelis, as the country is close, relatively inexpensive, and the people overall are friendly. Then Erdogan attacked Shimon Peres at Davos, ostensibly about the Palestinians, and cooled Israeli relations. Then a few months ago, he suddenly put on a charm offensive. He had President Herzog for a visit; he said he would visit Israel himself. There was a clear direction towards improved ties. Israel sent rescue units after Turkey’s last earthquake. Numerous Turkish carriers fly out of Tel Aviv daily and offer connections to the world. Then came 10/7 and Israel’s response. Erdogan, ever the politician, threw his hat with Hamas. He has repeatedly accused Israel of war crimes without any mention of what Hamas did to Israeli civilians. Israel pulled its ambassador due to the continued attacks against the country; Turkey has now returned the favor. Why Erdogan turned on a dime while Saudi Arabia has stated that it is interested in continuing discussions with respect to Israeli normalization after the war and an Emirati official said that the Abraham Accords were solid, is simply not clear. He apparently feels that his rule will be safer by throwing his country’s lot with the Hamas murderers.
*Russia. This one is really a head-scratcher. Israel has a very large Russian emigre population, mostly Jewish but not completely. Even some number of Hamas captives are Russian citizens. Israel has worked very closely with Russia on Syria to allow Israel to attack Iranian and Hezbollah targets but not get tangled up with the Russians. A few years ago, there were reports of a special telephone that allowed Israel to convey information on attacks to prevent direct Israel-Russian confrontations. Much to Ukraine’s chagrin, Israel has been very careful as to what it sends to help the war effort against Russia. To date, it has not sent any offensive weaponry and has refused to send Iron Dome batteries—all to keep the Israel-Russian relationship in balance. But Russia has come out squarely for Hamas. Its representative at the UN said that Israel does not enjoy a right to self-defense. It has not condemned Hamas’ actions and has repeatedly attacked Israel’s careful air and ground campaigns. If it were a movie, it would be funny to see the murderous Russians attacking a country that has sent millions of fliers, phone calls, and messages to Palestinians to get out of combat areas. Putin’s purpose apparently is to oppose anything that the West supports. Biden is giving billions in military aid? Then I must be against it. Why he could simply not come out on Israel’s side but ignore the West is not clear. But as of right now, Israel is the bad guy in the story as told in the Russian official press.
*China. China for a while wanted much more influence in Israel as it has in many third-world countries. It owns the major dairy company, once a kibbutz cooperative. They tried to buy the port in Haifa until the US put the kibosh on the sale. Before the current war, when Joe Biden was giving Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel a cold shoulder, Israel was looking towards China for expanded trade and R&D. But like Turkey and Russia, China has come down on the side of Hamas. My guess is that their position is somewhat a hybrid of those of Turkey and Russia. Like the latter, if the US and NATO countries support something, they reflexively feel they must be on the other side. But like Erdogan, China is probably looking at its Iranian energy partners and concluding that by supporting Iran’s offspring, Hamas, they are winning bonus points with the energy-rich mullahs. China probably figures that it has little to lose from coming out against Israel and would expect Israel to want to keep good relations after the war.
There is no surprise from the other pro-Hamas team. Arab League countries and other Muslim states reflexively blame Israel for the current war. These are the same countries that refuse to take in a single Palestinian refugee and, according to a very recent video, have sent goods after their expiration date to Gaza as their humanitarian contribution. Nobody cares about the Palestinians. Their only use is as a cudgel to attack Israel and the Jews.
One hopes that Israelis will drop Turkey as a vacation destination and somehow wean themselves off the millions of annual purchases from AliExpress and other cheap Chinese vendors. Maybe Israel will start providing Zelensky with the weapons he has desired; he is due here in Jerusalem next week. Israel’s new enemies think that they have made the smart play. Let’s see what happens after the war.